The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will directly commission thousands of affordable new homes, streamlining the process of building on publicly owned land.
“Allowing smaller builders to access publicly owned sites is a welcome move that must be part of a wider set of measures to assist SME builders and get more ‘players on the pitch,’” said HBF’s executive chairman Stewart Baseley, referring to the government’s proposal to offer smaller developers the chance to build on the government-owned sites which will have planning permission in place.
However, Baseley warned: “Direct commissioning will only be successful if it speeds up the release of public sector land and results in more housebuilding than would have happened using the more traditional methods of public sector land disposal.”
He indicated that both large and smaller housebuilders could benefit from the government’s approach: “A lower risk model could allow larger builders to increase their output still further, while also enabling smaller housebuilders to increase input. Both have an essential role to play. It is not a question of either/or.”
“If starter homes can increase demand by targeting a new section of the market, this will complement the supply measures announced today,” Baseley added.